The Lion & The Maiden: Redemption Song

Jaime Lannister is most renowned for killing the Mad King at The Sack Of Kings Landing. Aerys was going to murder 500,000 people, the population of Kings Landing with wildfire. Jaime was one of the members of his Kingsguard and he put his sword through Aerys’ back when he saw the city was lost. He had to make sure Robert didn’t take his head when he took the Capital and ascended those steps to the Iron Throne.

“The Mad King was obsessed with it. He loved to watch people burn, the way their skin blackened and blistered and melted off their bones. He burned lords he didn’t like. He burned Hands who disobeyed him. He burned anyone who was against him. Before long, half the country was against him. Aerys saw traitors everywhere. So he had his pyromancer place caches of wildfire all over the city.”

When Jaime & Brienne are at Harrenhal, there is a scene when they are both in the bathtub and he pours his heart out to her. He’s a broken man having just lost his hand. He’s an anointed knight with one hand. Who can blame him? He has lost his sword-hand, far from home and she’s the closest thing he has to a friend. Everyone judged him for killing Aerys, the king he had sworn to protect. Ned Stark being the worst one of them all, being so narrow-minded that he couldn’t see what needed to be done.

“Burn them all,” he kept saying. “Burn them all.” I don’t think he expected to die. He- he meant to… burn with the rest of us and rise again, reborn as a dragon to turn his enemies to ash. I slit his throat to make sure that didn’t happen. That’s where Ned Stark found me. If this is true… why didn’t you tell anyone? Why didn’t you tell Lord Stark?…Stark? You think the honorable Ned Stark wanted to hear my side? He judged me guilty the moment he set eyes on me. By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right?”

Brienne is the daughter of Lord Selwyn Tarth. They are Baratheon bannermen in the Stormlands. Tarth is known throughout Westeros as The Sapphire Isle, not because it is rich with these gems but because the waters in which it lay are striking blue seas in which it sits much alike sapphires. Jaime deceived Locke into thinking the opposite so his men wouldn’t have Brienne raped. This ultimately cost Jaime his hand. He gave up his hand so Brienne could keep her honor and her integrity. This trait from Jaime is not common with what comes with the Lannister name. Honor and kindness are not often associated with House Lannister. These are not characteristics to be feared like ruthlessness and brutality.

Brienne is described to be as tall as Robert Baratheon and very masculine. She is very muscular, flat-chested with blonde hair. She is described as ugly by Westerosi standards. She has spent her life as an object of ridicule and constant rejection but pity as well. She wants to be accepted but can’t because of how she looks and lacks the courtesy that other highborn ladies possess. When she tries to be a lady, she faces scorn and the resentment occurs when her talent for fighting is shown. A good example is when she bested Ser Loras Tyrell to earn a place on Renly’s kingsguard. She is resented for being woman despite her high skill with a sword.

I believe that Brienne is the last person of honor left in Westeros. Jaime is trying to redeem himself by keeping his word to Catelyn. He promised her that he would find Arya & Sansa Stark so he gives Brienne his Valyrian steel sword she names it Oathkeeper. He also gifts her a suit of armor. As the series goes on, we see a relationship begin to develop between Jaime Lannister & Brienne. They love each other, even if they can’t admit it. How can she love she love the Kingslayer? How can he love Brienne? He has never loved or been with anyone that wasn’t Cersei? It’s as strange for him as it is for her.

There it is. There’s the look. I’ve seen it for 17 years on face after face. You all despise me. Kingslayer. Oathbreaker. A man without honor.”

Brienne has helped him as much as he has her. She helped him become a better man and he helped her see that things aren’t always what they seem with his story about The Sack Of Kings Landing. He gave her purpose in the world. He made her remember her honor and who she is. He respected Catelyn, even if she did lock him up. They are two of many characters who represent the song, The Bear & The Maiden Fair. She saves Jaime from Stark bannerman on the road but then it is flipped when Jaime saves Brienne from being eaten by a bear at Harrenhal and saves her from being raped after thinking up a clever lie about Tarth and the Sapphire Isle thus Jaime loses his hand and the unattractive Brienne prevents Jaime from suicide and navigates him on the path to redemption. Both these characters have played the bear and the maiden.

These two characters are the ones that I think should survive the series yet I think Brienne will die in battle in Jaime’s arms. They have both lost so much and both have serious identity issues from damage inflicted in their younger days. This will leave Jaime alone in the world. He owes her. “A Lannister always pays his debts” after all. If this does come to pass, I hope Jaime pledges his fealty to House Tarth as a final ode to Brienne and takes their name. Kill the lion, Jaime Lannister and let the Tarth be born.  This would be a great “fuck you” to Tywin’s legacy, even in death.Jaime has come a long way since “A Game Of Thrones” and so has Brienne since she was introduced in A Clash Of Kings. If anyone deserves a happy ending, it is those two, but as readers, we know happy endings aren’t Martin’s way. “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention” says Ramsay Bolton.

I hope for a monologue that portrays Jaime’s feelings, thoughts and his fealty to Brienne.

She was a great warrior. Songs will be sung of her prowess on the battlefield. No pages will be written about her in the history books but we will remember. An honorable soul and she did what needed to be done even if her life was to pay forfeit. I love her as man loves his wife. She was one of the greatest people I ever knew. I have known nobody braver nor more integral but she made me a better man and put me on a path of redemption. Lord Selwyn has lost a daughter and his heir. I will bear the Lannister name no more. I will take the name Tarth so she will not have died in vain. I will pledge my service to Lord Selwyn as she did to me. House Lannister has brought nothing but despair on Westeros and to me. So much blood has been spilled because of me and my house. I will propose to Lord Selwyn to be his heir as a debt paid. I owe her everything.